Good news about the middle-aged mind — from Barbara Strauch

By William Seidman I just finished a great new book, The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind by New York  Times Health and Medical Science editor Barbara Strauch. Strauch examines the latest neuroscience research on brain function and comes up with some fascinating results: The human brain continues to develop and grow well into our 70s. Some people’s brains develop a “brain reserve” that buffers them from some of the effects of aging and disease. Brains also become more bilateral – meaning both left brain (analytic) and right brain (emotional) work together more. People become more skilled at handling big complex problems (even as they forget names). Several things tend to be clearly associated with increased brain reserve: 

  • Educational levels — higher equals more reserve
  • Intensity of intellectual stimulation — people who do more complex work develop more reserve
  • Physical exercise — intense exercising seems to create new neurons
There is still much debate about the role of food, with nothing proven yet. This is definitely a great read, grounded in good science, and relevant to personal change, organizations, and organizational change.]]>

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